The First Regenerative Cotton Harvest Was Held in the Harran Plain

First Regenerative Cotton Harvest in Harran Plain
The First Regenerative Cotton Harvest Was Held in the Harran Plain

📩 12/10/2023 12:24

Maritaş Denim, which produces in its fully integrated production facilities from yarn to weaving, with a team of 520 people and a fabric capacity of 24 million meters per year, carried out Turkey's first regenerative cotton harvest, carried out in collaboration with TÜBİTAK-supported universities and industry, in the Harran Plain.

The project, which aims to increase national awareness of cotton production with renewable agricultural practices and will last for 24 months, aims to support local farmers and ensure close supply through contracted agricultural practices. The first harvest event, which came to life with the slogan "Harvesting in Harran: Maritaş Denim Regenerative Cotton Journey", is an important example showing that regenerative agriculture can be done in our country and the cotton obtained by this method can be productive for farmers. Maritaş Denim Deputy General Manager Fatih Kesim stated that they aim to gradually increase the share of cotton obtained through regenerative agriculture in total fabric production.

Maritaş Denim, which set out to pioneer and contribute to regenerative cotton production in Turkey, carried out Turkey's first regenerative cotton harvest, carried out in collaboration with TÜBİTAK-supported universities and industry, in the Harran Plain. Aiming to support local farmers and draw attention to regenerative agricultural practices at the national level, Maritaş Denim reinforced its pioneering role and leadership in the sector with the first harvest event "Harvesting in Harran: Maritaş Denim Regenerative Cotton Journey". The project, which was carried out in cooperation with Harran University Faculty of Agriculture, Field Crops Department and Gaziantep University Textile Engineering Department, aims to provide contract production to farmers and close supply. In the first stage, the work carried out on 500 decares of production area and 10 decares of pilot project area is planned to gradually last for 24 months. Within the scope of the project, the first harvest of cotton seeds planted in May 2023 was achieved.

Raw Material Will Be Obtained to Meet the Fabric Demand of 500 Thousand Meters

Maritaş Denim, which produces fabric for 340 companies in total and leads the sector in the field of green transformation, exports fabric to 16 brands in 41 different countries through its agencies located in 340 countries. With the first harvest of regenerative cotton, it is expected to obtain raw material that can meet the demand of approximately 100 thousand meters for a 500% average weight fabric.

Taking an important step to discover and develop best practice methods in raw material supply, Maritaş Denim aims to provide valuable data with its research that will shed light on future production processes and contribute to the company reaching its sustainability goals. One of the main goals of the research is to identify the most current and effective practices in raw material supply, develop them and make them applicable in a broader perspective. This research project, which is intended to be a guide for the future process, is considered an important step taken to strengthen Maritaş Denim's commitment to sustainability and to contribute to the local economy by expanding its cultivation areas.

Regenerative Agriculture Supported by Close Sourcing

Maritaş Denim, which imports cotton obtained through regenerative agriculture, which has been developed and used as a response to climate change in recent years, from a distance of 5 thousand km to 7 thousand km, has started to use the contract farming method in order to reduce the need for remote raw materials. Maritaş Denim, which aims to obtain its raw materials through close sourcing by having contracted production done by farmers in the Harran Plain, supports regenerative agriculture by reducing carbon emissions. This support aims to improve soil, increase crop productivity and water retention capacity compared to monoculture agriculture.

“We Will Create a Global Impact, Not Just Local”

Maritaş Denim Deputy General Manager Fatih Kesim stated that they wanted to create a momentum and take a real step on behalf of nature, humanity and industry with the project they realized, and said, “We believe that the regenerative cotton production we started in the Harran Plain will help the soil and nature return to their essence, produce without polluting, are compatible with nature. It is a guide to the surviving generations. We are proud to lead a movement that will have not only a local but a global impact. We would like to express our endless gratitude to the officials of Harran University, Gaziantep University and Şanlıurfa Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, who guided us in our project that we implemented to redefine denim and transform our approach to cotton from the perspective of sustainability in the industry.” made his statements.

“We Will Create a Sustainable Cotton Supply Chain for the Textile Industry”

Harran University Faculty of Agriculture Field Crops Department Head Prof. said that approximately 28% of the Harran Plain, where cotton has been produced for 75 years, is planted in approximately 45% of the Harran Plain and that Şanlıurfa accounts for 3% of Turkey's cotton production. Dr. Osman Çopur said, “Continuous cultivation of cotton can cause deep plowing in the soil, formation of bedrock, disease, increase in weeds and deterioration in the microbiology of the soil. Research shows that more than 100% of the carbon emissions caused by industrial agriculture can be absorbed back in a period of 2022 years with the widespread use of regenerative agriculture practices. Our work, which we implemented with Maritaş Denim's social responsibility and sustainable agriculture approach, started in November XNUMX with the planting of winter intercrop lentils. Soil enriched in nitrogen also reduced cotton production costs. “Our aim is to create a sustainable cotton supply chain for the textile industry and to leave a healthy soil for future generations.” said.

“Regenerative Cotton Offers High Fabric Quality”

Talking about the importance of cotton fiber for the textile industry, Gaziantep University Textile Engineering Department Head Prof. Dr. Cem Güneşoğlu said, “The target of increasing cotton production has resulted in a high level of chemical consumption. Today, cotton production constitutes 2% of global agriculture, while it is responsible for 20% of the medicines consumed in agriculture. This is not a sustainable situation. That's why the last link of sustainable agriculture and cotton production, which started in the 1980s, is regenerative. Protecting soil health means increasing the quality of every product grown in this soil. That's why regenerative cotton offers higher quality fiber, higher fabric quality and good wearing comfort. When regenerated cotton is mentioned in our country, recycled cotton comes to mind. Unlike other companies, this awareness of Maritaş Denim is very valuable to us.” made his statements.